Things you’ll only know if you grew up in the countryside

You’re basically a massive nature-loving hippie


Having a childhood in the countryside was great: fields to explore, gardens to play in, endless trees to climb. Now you’ve probably moved away to uni in some big industrial city and long gone are the days where you’d career around the country, not a care in the world. And your new townie friends just don’t understand the thrill of having your hometown appear on Countryfile.

You’ll have a pair of Hunter wellies (and probably a Barbour too)

It’s just a given. If not a Barbour, then definitely some sort of sturdy parka. And countless macs – it’s rainy out in the country.

Having friends come over for the first time was a nightmare

Expect phone calls every ten minutes asking for directions: but saying ‘turn left after the post office’ isn’t much use when they can’t even find the post office. You’d end up hauling on the nearest coat and trudging half a mile away from home trying to wave down your friend from the main road. It’s not your fault you live in the middle of bloody nowhere.

You learnt to drive pretty fast

You’re ages away from anywhere, no bus has ever graced your nearest bus stop (or any bus stop within two miles of you for that matter), and you’re getting pretty tired of cycling around on a bike built for a twelve-year-old. You don’t just want to learn to drive – you need to. Also, your ‘rents probably let you tear round the garden in the Landy as soon as you could reach the pedals anyway, so you’ve basically been driving since you were eight.

Boxing Day is for walking

Whack on the wellies because you’re going for a walk, come rain, come shine, come snow, come the fucking apocalypse. Think Boxing Day is for turning into a pig in a blanket before a film on BBC One? Think again – it’s up the hills and down again. And maybe check out the Boxing Day hunt while you’re at it, if you’re not already taking part in the meet.


Whether you were plucking blackberries straight from the bush on an evening summer walk or piling strawberries into your basket at a local fruit farm, fruit-picking was the best. You’re not afraid to eat stuff straight from nature – stuff that’s free from all that pesticide bullshit. You’re all about raw, pure, unadulterated fruit. Yeah, you’ve eaten a few bugs here and there, but that’s just you. Hardcore and unafraid to ingest a beetle.

You don’t get townies’ disgust of farm animals

Yeah, a horse could kill you just by kicking you, but they’re not scary. And cows actually have the most beautiful eyes. And what do you mean when you say “pigs aren’t a ‘domestic’ animal”?

What shoes?

The soles of your feet are basically made of leather. As a kid, you roamed from the tiles of your farmhouse kitchen straight out onto the itchy grass of your lawn without pausing to slip anything onto your feet. You’ve probably been stung by a bee by stepping on one. Putting shoes on to traverse the painfully sharp gravel of your driveway? Never. Step by painful step you’d cross it, each step agony, but you did it. Walking on hot coals would be a walk in the park compared to that.

Spot the country bumpkin

You hate pheasants

Stupidest fucking animals on the planet. Yes, that’s right, just walk out in front of the bloody moving vehicle.

Supermarket eggs?

God, no. You’d get a dozen from one of your neighbours, free range and delicious. Other foodstuffs you procured from neighbours or otherwise made yourself: jam and other preserves, sloe gin, and rhubarb.

You probably had a swing in your garden

Not a swing set, no. No time for that plastic shit. I mean a proper swing, i.e. a piece of questionable, dangerous-looking, fraying rope tied to a tree branch. Bonus points if it was a tyre swing. The rope was tied in such a way that you could sit on it and the seat was made of something odd. To make it better, it was right by a fence, tree, or something you could climb up before launching off.

Having to plan basically years in advance to see any of your friends

Your parents are at work, you can’t drive, and cycling’s an effort. It’s going to take some serious organisation to work out how to get from Point A, that is, your horribly isolated house, to Point B, your designated meeting place. Probably in ‘town’. By ‘town’ I mean nothing but some charity shops, a bank, and a Nero’s. What more could a person want?

Everyone knows everyone

You couldn’t go into ‘town’ without seeing your art teacher, your friend’s mum, a friend of a friend, and someone from church.

Your first experiences with alcohol came in a field

Who needs house parties when you can have camp-outs? You put the abundance of fields surrounding your house to good use. Bring a tent, bring some alcohol, and away you went. And that’s another thing – you have a tent, and you had it long before you even knew what Bestival was. You’ve also probably been sick in it at some point.

Tractors on the road were the worst

It was a legitimate excuse for being late. You were late so many times because of bloody tractors. It’s not like there was ever anywhere to overtake in a country lane spanning roughly 2 metres in width.

You are at one with nature

Nettle sting? You knew how to identify and correctly apply a dock leaf. You knew that holding a buttercup under someone’s chin was a fail-safe way to check if they liked butter, a dandelion clock was the only way to tell the time, and how to turn blade of grass into a whistle.

Mobile phone signal and good internet connection just wasn’t a thing

There’d be one sweet spot in the house, where you’d have to stand on a chair and lean over the wardrobe just to get a few bars of service. Otherwise, your house was a little technology-free vacuum.

You know the country code

Leave all gates as you found them.

There are some brands just built for the country-dweller

You probably have something – literally, anything from a mug, to slipper socks, to an expensive coat – from one of these: Brocklehurst’s, Boden, Jack Wills, Cath Kidston, Joules, Barbour, Hunter, Emma Bridgwater, Hoggs, or Regatta.

You aren’t afraid to get dirty

Whether you were getting grass stains on everything you owned, making mud pies, or literally rolling around in the dirt, it was all chill. Even now you consider yourself a bit more rough-and-tumble than your pristine city chums.

Everyone’s house smelt the same

The smell of wet dog, manure, dust, leather, sawdust, and cut grass. It wasn’t exactly a nice smell, but it’ll always smell like home to you.


It may have been miles away from the childhood those of you in the city had growing up, but it was undoubtedly the best.